Praise for Nicolette:
"Nicolette is ostensibly the story of the narrator's obsession with a woman, but under the surface it is an insightful examination of the creative process. The book's chapters appear in an unpredictable order: the narrative begins in media res with Chapter 27, Chapter 1 occurs halfway in, and Chapter 17 is repeated each time the couple makes love. In a passage that shows Zend to be a supremely self-conscious writer, the reason for this unconventional arrangement is explained in Chapter 0:
Why begin with 27? I don't know. Intuitively. More or less it would have been the 27th had I come chronologically... The 29th came shortly after the 27th but I left something out...and what I am writing now is the introduction, which is why it is 0. If I followed the objective sequence of events I would falsify the chronology of my subjective creation. This way is closer to the truth.
Dan Bortolotti, "Indie Press," Shift magazine (Toronto, Spring 1994), p. 41
"Reading the novel felt to me like reading an amalgam of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and James Joyce. Joyce is layered and dense in both structure and language. Vonnegut’s prose is easy to read and deceptively simple, though the content is rich. Zend’s prose is easy to read and the “plot” (once pieced together) is simple, but the structure, which I have merely outlined, is highly complex. Zend does not impose formal constraints on the text as the Oulipo writers do, yet the formal structure of the text puts it in a comparable experimental camp. This structure comprises the real content and interest of the novel, amplifying the psychological states that accompany relationships and the creative process."